The adoption process / by Cassandra Hearn

What Does It Mean to Adopt?

Adoption is a legal process that permanently gives parental rights to adoptive parents. This means you would be taking a child into your home as a permanent family member. It means that you would be raising this child and providing all financial and emotional support for the child.

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How Do I Adopt?

Adoption is a life changing decision and a process that is highly regulated. Here is a breakdown of the process as it is in California, to give you a better idea of what you would be facing if you are thinking of adoption:

1) Contact an adoption agency. If you live in California, you may call the California Adoption and Foster Care Referral Line at 1-800-KlDS-4­US for a referral to an agency in your area. Also visit the California Department of Social Services website for more details about the process.

2) Attend an Orientation. Most agencies, including the state, require your attendance at a meeting or orientation to go over the adoption process, your concerns and wishes and provide you with the necessary information for that agency.

3) Fill Out an Application. You will be required to fill out a lengthy application that will address your background (medical, criminal, employment, marital etc.) and will be reviewed by an agent working for the agency as required by law to determine suitability as a placement for adoption.

4) Investigation- Be aware that you will undergo an extensive background investigation that will get into your very personal history. This background is required by law and necessary for the adoption process. This is to ensure that the child or children to go to a safe and loving home. This process can take several months, remain patient and open with your adoption agent. Quickly provide them with information they need, this could speed up the process significantly.

5) Child Placement- There may be a home visit where the child is placed in your home for a short period of time to test how you and the child interact. There may be a report written and a study done by an adoption counselor to make a final recommendation as to the child and your suitability. If all checks out then the child will be placed with you permanently.

Interstate Adoption

It is a common misconception that you cannot adopt out of your state of residence. This is not true. The Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997  and the Safe and Timely Interstate Placement of Foster Children Act of 2006 state that jurisdictional boundaries across state lines cannot be used as an excuse to keep a child out of a permanent home. Just keep in mind if you do look for a child out of state that it may be a longer process than in state adoption.

Reach out to Cassandra Hearn today for more advice. (619) 800-0384.